Tag Archives: stumble

Prayer: An Expression of Hope

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 9, 2018

HOPE scrabble

Prayer: An Expression of Hope

Depression, fear, worry, anxiety. When these things creep into my life, I feel like I am suddenly walking through chest-high water. It can be so difficult to get through a day, even an hour. I have friends and relatives who deal with depression and anxiety, too. Yes, it can be more than a challenge to keep one’s head above water.

When Father Nouwen quoted from Bertold Brecht, I felt the words deep inside. Because—sometimes I feel that way. Not as much as before, but still, sometimes. Here is the quote:

“As it is, it will stay/What we want will never come.” [1]

Life without prayer, life without hope—that is what those words reflected inside of me. Father Nouwen said, “If you believe this way, life stands still. Spiritually, you are dead. There can be life and there can be movement only when you no longer accept things as they are now, and you look ahead toward that which is not yet.” [2]

That is hope. That is what can be, if we believe in prayer. Although, prayer seems to be more about asking than about hoping.

When I have hope somewhere inside of me (no matter how deep it is), I have more ability to go forward. I have dragged myself along when I have been in deep depression, or filled with fear or anxiety. At times, it has been a difficult journey. (Like walking through chest-high water.. But, I repeat myself.)

Thank God I know that God always has ears wide open to my cries, and arms ready to receive me when I stumble and fall into them. Dear Lord, help me to have hope. Hope in prayer, and hope in You and Your faithfulness. Help me to believe, to hope, and to pray more easily.

Thanks, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 1972), 39.

[2] Ibid.

God’s Word Brings Peace.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 8, 2016

god-brings-peace

God’s Word Brings Peace.

Psalm 119 is one of my favorite psalms. Hands down. I love so many things about it. First off, every one of its 176 verses mentions God’s word. Or, statutes, or God’s law. In a multitude of ways, this chapter of the Hebrew Scriptures acknowledges the awesomeness of God’s Word, the Bible.

I’d like to focus on one verse: Psalm 119:165. “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

This verse comes at the tail end of the psalm. You’d think, after dozens and dozens of verses of description, of how amazing God’s Word is—but, no. The unknown author powers through to the end, extolling the wonders of the Bible.

Back to verse 165. This verse talks about peace. As in, shalom. Not only the cessation of conflict and war, not to mention violence. But, the harmony and wholeness of shalom. How the Bible—and the regular, intentional reading of it—provides peace.

Now, the author does not say, but I see this verse as talking about the inside attitude. The attitude of people who regularly read the Bible and study it.

I am sure the author knows about the various uncertain situations here in this world, because he uses descriptive language concerning the uneasy, unpleasant world in other verses.  I know the author wants to show that God’s Word can help overcome, no matter what the adversary, no matter how unpleasant the situation. Plus, in this particular verse, the author affirms that God’s Word brings peace. God’s Word helps the reader to maintain a firm footing, a firm grip on their road or their way. I don’t know about you, but I sure need that!

Let’s pray. Gracious God, thank You for all of the many varieties of help, encouragement and support we may find in God’s Word—the Bible. Especially, thank You for the certainty the author has in this verse: those who love Your Word will not stumble, and peace will come into their hearts. Not only passing peace, peace on the surface, but great peace. I need great peace right now. Thank You for this good promise. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Honest to God, in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 7, 2015

cast your anxiety on Him 1 Pet 5-7

Honest to God, in Prayer

Am I truly honest when I pray? Or, do I just include those prayers, those parts of me that I think or feel God wants to see?

What about those parts of me that are less than godly? Less than righteous or pure? What do I do with those? Do I ever allow those parts of me to come out of hiding—in prayer? To “let it all hang out,” as it were? Am I kidding myself when I think that God just doesn’t see or even know about those less-than-holy parts of myself?

God, I know those impure thoughts (and deeds, too!) are a part of me. Yes, I sin. Yes, I fall short. But You want me to continue to come before You, even though. Time after time in scripture as well as in history I can see people continuing to come to You in prayer. You don’t turn anyone away. Not ever. Even though people continue to sin and to fall short.

You are the best place in the world to cast all of our cares. (As 1 Peter 5:7 tells us.) You are the only place I can run to when I stumble and fall—repeatedly. And You pick me up—repeatedly.

I realize that some of today’s modern-day Pharisees would have me all tied up in spiritual, physical, and psychological knots. In some super-spiritual straightjacket, where the real me, the me You intended me to be would be all stifled and muffled and starved. Where some Pharisees’ conception of God was all harsh and angry, throwing thunderbolts at the least little misstep. (Gee, sounds a lot like mean, capricious Zeus, if you ask me!) No, sir. No, thanks.

Reminds me of my dear prayer partner of several years ago. When her youngest child was about one, she would call for the child to come to her from across the room. The determined little tyke would toddle across the floor, sometimes falling down. Boom! Right on the padded backside. Yet time after time, my friend would urge her dear child to get up and to keep going. Keep on trying to toddle to her. And at last, finally hug her dear child to her in a warm embrace.

That little toddler is me. I fall down, and make missteps. Mistakes. Sometimes I may even toddle in the other direction. But I know my God is there for me. And God won’t leave me alone, either.

Thank You for loving me, for caring for me. After all, that’s exactly what 1 Peter 5:7 tells me: that You care for me. You are my Heavenly Parent, after all.

God, I can—indeed—be totally honest with You. So, help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.